A short time ago I read an article about a former pastor who became a skeptic.  The post 9/11 world did not make sense to him.  He figured there could be no God in such a world.  This kind of struggle of course is nothing new.

Andrew Delbanco has famously said Americans went from believing in the providence of God prior to the Civil War to believing in luck after it.  Too much carnage took place for one to keep believing in a God who is both good and in control of all things.

I also struggle to make sense of these realities, yet I am perplexed by those who choose to bail on the Christian faith.

The Bible makes it clear that we are living in a broken world where the most hideous things imaginable will take place.  Make sure to digest that important truth.  If “delicate women” will boil their own children for food (see Deut. 28:53-57), we know there is the capacity for all kinds of evil.

Further, if God had not made it clear that I will not understand many things this side of heaven, I also would consider bailing on the Christian faith.  However, God has made it clear we will only know in very small part.  There is quite a bit in Scripture on this truth (for example Deut. 29:29; Job 38-42; Isa. 55:8,9; I Cor. 13:12)

Luther, like the Psalmists (note plural) struggled with the silence of God, even the God who seems to hide Himself at times.  We should be glad for the candor of Scripture, but also chastened to remember we only now see in a “mirror dimly.”

So I wonder what Bible the pastor who bailed was reading.


  1. David McCoy

    Reading “Why I Am Not a Christian” many years ago actually strengthened my faith when I saw how irrational an otherwise rational being like Russell could be when it came to God. The book is about as illogical as one could imagine and filled with mere diatribe instead of sound argumentation.

  2. Dave Post author

    Hey Dave,

    My impression in reading it is the same as yours. For all of Russell’s mathematical and philosophical brilliance, “Why I am not a Christian” is hardly the most searching objection to the faith.

  3. Stuart Yoder

    I do find it strange that the post 9/11 world would cause someone to lose their faith. We are arguably living in one of the most peaceful, safest times in history. But I do understand that coming to grips with the problem of evil is difficult. A college friend of mine became a Wycliffe Bible translator, but lost his faith and became an atheist-leaning agnostic. As I read what he wrote about his journey, it seemed to me to boil down to that God was not “moral” or “good enough”. He argued that in the Old Testament God endorsed slavery, rape, and genocide. God will torture people forever if they don’t do what he wants…when God himself demands that we forgive. Stuff like that.

    In the end it seems that in many cases, people who reject God, reject their image of God– a caricature that may have nothing to do with the real God. Almost like saying: if my image of God does not exist, then God must not exist. Rejecting the caricature may be a good thing. But I hope they are open enough to see there may be more to the story than the image they reject.

  4. Dave Post author

    Hey Stuart,

    As one who is prone to doubt, I ache to hear those kinds of stories. May God mercifully show your friend the glory and goodness of God in the face of Christ!


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